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Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
Blast rocks Iranian town
Several powerful explosions rocked the Iranian town of Kermanshah, near the Iraqi border.

The People's Mujahideen, Iranian's main opposition group in exile, has claimed responsibility for the mortar attack.

A Mujahideen spokesman, Farid Soleimani, told the BBC that the intended targeted was the headquarters of Kermanshah's state security forces.

He said dozens of agents had been killed or wounded in the attack.

Iraq had earlier blamed "Iranian agents" for a rocket attack on Baghdad which killed a child and wounding four other people.

Explosions

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that several powerful explosions rocked Kermanshah.

The explosions were heard at 2325 (1855 GMT) on Saturday - a few hours after the rocket attack on Baghdad.

IRNA quoted witnesses saying that several people were injured.

Police closed off a district of the city where the blasts appeared to be centred, the news agency added without giving further details.

The Mujahideen has in recent months stepped up its cross-border raids and launched mortar attacks in Tehran.

A Mujahideen mortar attack near Tehran's police headquarters injured six people earlier this month.

Another attack in March killed one person and injured several others.

Attacks in Baghdad

Similarly, Iraq opposition groups backed by Iran have also increased they attacks on Baghdad.

On Saturday morning, Iraq said Iranian groups had fired eight rockets at civilian targets in Baghdad, killing a three-year-old girl and wounding four other people.

Three houses in Baghdad's al-Karkh district were said to have been demolished by the missiles

An Iranian-backed opposition group in Iraq has admitted responsibility for the attack, which a spokesman said had targeted one of President Saddam Hussein's palaces.

Bombardments

The attack was the second bombardment of Baghdad this month and the third this year.

The Iraqi Government also blamed Iranian agents for those attacks.

Iraq and Iran fought an eight-year war that ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1988.

The two Muslim neighbours never signed a peace treaty and their relations since the end of the war have remained tense.

Each harbours dissident groups fighting the other's government.

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See also:

13 May 00 | Middle East
Baghdad blames Iran for attack
02 May 00 | Middle East
Baghdad hit by rockets
22 Mar 00 | Middle East
Four killed in Baghdad mortar attack
13 Mar 00 | Middle East
Mortar attack on Tehran
07 Feb 00 | Middle East
Iran warns Baghdad over rebels
05 Feb 00 | Middle East
Khatami survives mortar attack
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